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Wenger takes a dig at Chelsea's spending spree

sports Updated: Feb 02, 2011 09:32 IST

AFP
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Arsene Wenger has accused Chelsea of backtracking on their pledge to respect UEFA's financial fair play plans after the Blues spent £75 million ($120 million) on transfer deadline day.

The arrival of Fernando Torres and David Luiz coincided with Chelsea's announcement of a £68.6 million operating loss for the last financial year.

Wenger believes this contradicts Chelsea's stated aim to balance the books and believes it signals a new era of spending by Blues' billionaire owner Roman Abramovich. "It shows you two things; That for a while, Abramovich was a bit in no man's land where nobody could really guess whether he wanted to still invest or not," Wenger said. "Certainly that has changed. He has decided to put big money in again, and that tells you that certainly in the summer more will come. He is back to full investment."

"He can tell you why, but that's how you can read it from the outside. If you don't invest for a while, it looks as if he's not as involved in it any more, doesn't like it as much. But £75 million, it means more will come. "Chelsea supported the financial fair play, but in the morning they announce a £70 million loss and in the afternoon buy £75 million worth of players. Where's the logic in that?

It's hard to guess. "Officially they vote for the financial fair play, so they can explain much better than I why they do it."

Wenger was speaking after his side had recovered from falling behind to Everton to claim a 2-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday through second half goals from Laurent Koscielny and Andrei Arshavin.

The result keeps Arsenal in second place, five points behind leaders Manchester United, but Wenger believes his side have the character to sustain their title challenge. "I'm very happy because the spirit is maybe the aspect of the team that's been questioned the most, and that's where we've been the most convincing recently," Wenger said.

However, the victory came at the cost of an injury to Alex Song, while French midfielder Samir Nasri is sidelined for three weeks. "Alex is injured," Wenger said. "He cannot walk. He was kicked. I think it is by Koscielny. He knocks everybody out in our team."

"We have to see how he responds to that in the next days. He cannot work at the moment. Nasri's scan shows a hamstring strain. 21 days."

Everton manager David Moyes, meawhile, believes his side's chances of claiming a victory were hindered by referee Lee Mason's decision not to take strong action against Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas at half time. Moyes claimed Fabregas delivered a volley of abuse at Mason who had controversially allowed Louis Saha's first half effort to stand.

"I'm not going to repeat them," said Moyes. "They were disappointing comments from such a talented footballer."